What I learned in 2023

What a year 2023 has been! Difficult, challenging, but also full of opportunities. No matter what happened, my friends stuck by me through thick and thin, and when I needed a break from everything, I went on vacation by myself. Overall though I am grateful for another wonderful year with lots of amazing people around me. Here are my thoughts on this last year. Yours, Pollybert

1.) I managed nine weeks of vacation in 2023! This was by far my personal best after the three months in 2015 and my time at university! Pretty little trips to Egypt, Brussels, Corfu, and lots of others that haven’t even made it on the blog so far, were on my agenda for last year.

2.) There’s more to life than winning. But sometimes, when you have to go up against a ‘Goliath’, winning feels pretty sweet.

3.) Already sometime during the last years I lost my motivation for running and other sports and I haven’t managed to find it again. While I try to make an effort every year, 2023 was definitely not a success story in this department. I am hoping for better result next year.

4.) Interestingly enough I spent more time watching TV last year than reading. Looking at my book list from 2023 compared to 2022 I am not sure what happened. Maybe the problem lies with the parallel reading, so that I am less invested in one book? That’s something I need to investigate in 2024.

5.) I bought my first piece of art! I saw the painting ‘La Belle Rousse’ in 2022 while in Tours while chasing the Plantagenets. Since I couldn’t get it out of my head, I contacted the artist Cédric Marcillac in August. Lo and behold the painting was still available!

‘La Belle Rousse’ @Cédric Marcillac

6.) My family said goodbye to our childhood summer home. Even though in the last decades I had only spent occasionally a weekend there, it was quite emotional. Seeing this river made me think of all the bonfires we had on its shore and the fun times with the neighboring children.

Alm river @Austria

7.) The tradition of having a family vacation weekend was upheld this year as well. We even had fun together and agreed on a three day weekend for next year. Let’s see how that works out.

8.) A couple of my favorite musicians played a show this year in Vienna and it reminded me that nothing beats a live concert! It doesn’t matter that most of the times I am far away from the stage, the whole atmosphere just energizes me.

Wanda @Stadthalle Wien

P!nk @Stadion Wien

9.) I kept on learning Norwegian with Duolingo and am now standing at over 1250 days. Am quite proud of myself for this!

Pollybert’s Duolingo streak @Vienna

10.) Friends are still missed and not forgotten, even though a year has passed. So often something small reminds me and then I keep thinking of her. I’ll never not miss you!

11.) Even though I think of myself as having a green thumb, I seem not to be able to grow any produce on my balcony. Except for herbs, which sprout like weeds, nothing else prospers. This year I tried strawberries again and bought two plants with already lots of blooms. Please see here the single strawberry I harvested. I guess I learned my lesson now, I will stick to the herbs.

my strawberry harvest @Vienna

12.) 2024 will be a great year! This is what I have decided and I am going to stick to the plan!


  1. it is a very pretty strawberry!

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